On Thursday, 20 June 2013, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) submitted a report to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
This submission was made following a request for further information in response to submissions made on 4 February 2012 – an individual complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on behalf of Ramadan Abdel Bari (51) – and on 15 October 2012 – an individual complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food on behalf of Youssef Abu Mghasib (40).
In this follow-up report, PCHR wishes to provide the UN Special Rapporteurs with an overview of the Israeli policies and practices severley affecting sources of livelihood in the Gaza Strip. It addresses the situation facing farmers, fishermen, factory workers, and their dependents. Besides presenting individual cases this report outlines how the different industries, which are the main sources of livelihood in Gaza, are affected by the unlawfully imposed travel and import restrictions, the ban on exports, and military unwarranted attacks
carried out against civilians and their property. It is noted that these violations under international law take place in the context of many of other rights violations, including, but not limited to, an exclusion zone in the sea
and Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip.
The closure, which constitutes a form of collective punishment of the civilians population, and is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, can be regarded as a form of economic warfare waged against the civilians in Gaza. The closure has led to a protracted humanitarian crisis, which is partially compensated by international humanitarian aid. While the closure and unlawful military attacks continue, the Israeli legal system fails to hold accountable perpetrators of these international law violations. The failure of the Israeli legal system is
outlined in the final chapter of this report.